Snowdrops at Kingston Lacy

Snowdrops flowering in the garden at Kingston Lacy Dorset ©National Trust / Images James Dobson

Kingston lacy, a National Trust estate near Wimborne, Dorset, is famous for its snowdrop display.  The snowdrop walk stretches through the 40-acre garden for one and a half miles.  Even without the cold weather needed to encourage the snowdrops to bloom the team are still expecting a good display throughout late January and February.

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17% more flowers make for a blooming Valentine

Simon Akeroyd Head Gardener at Coleton Fishacre counting the Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' (the daffodil)

Simon Akeroyd Head Gardener at Coleton Fishacre counting the Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ (the daffodil)

The Snowdrop has been voted the top spring flower in the South West, with the gardens at Cotehele, Stourhead and Killerton being the most popular places to see spring blooms.

This year’s milder, calmer and less wet winter compared with 2014 has been much kinder on our garden plants as gardeners have been finding out while taking part in the Trust’s annual Valentines Flower Count. Continue reading…

‘Get down and dirty to experience a Valentine’s bloom this year’


The Snowdrop has been voted the top spring flower in the South West, with the gardens at Cotehele, Lanhydrock, Trelissick and Kingston Lacy being the most popular places to see spring blooms

It may come as a big surprise, but the recent unprecedented wet weather seems to have had very little affect on our gardens. In some cases things are a little behind; but the milder conditions, albeit very wet, have not had huge affects on our blooms.  Many flowers, however, are still holding back for drier and brighter conditions. Continue reading…

Tiptoe through the snowdrops at Fyne Court

The unusually mild winter has brought out snowdrops earlier than normal at Fyne Court, the National Trust property nestling in the Quantock Hills.  The mild weather has led to early snowdrops being spotted in December, and throughout January clumps of the popular bulbs at Fyne Court have been seen.

Early Snowdrops at Fyne Court, Somerset (c) National Trust / APEX

Early Snowdrops at Fyne Court, Somerset (c) National Trust / APEX

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High energy bulbs that will light up your spring

Garden adviser, Ian Wright extols the wonder of the snowdrop and the bluebell.

To me snowdrops and bluebells are ‘the’ iconic flowers of early and late spring.

Barely have we taken the Christmas tree to be recycled then the brave little snowdrop is either well above ground or perhaps even in flower.  But what we don’t ever do is ever get down on the ground and really appreciate the tiny snowdrop bud.

I admit that a carpet of white is a spectacular sight but why not this year take a small mirror, get down on your knees, and carefully place it under the snowdrop.  Only then will you appreciate the subtleness of this spring bulb – I promise you that the attractive flower with its delicate green, and in some cases yellow, tinges will show itself to you in a whole new light.

Lots of our gardens, particularly Lacock and Trengwainton, have great displays, so go and kneel in honour of this brave little plant the snowdrop.

Then, just as the snowdrop’s light is fading, another favourite is rampaging up through the woodland floor ready to light up the second part of spring.

The bluebell is steeped in mystical folklore.  Are fairies really summoned by the ringing of its bells?  If you hear the bell does that mean your sudden demise?  Or does wearing a wreath of flowers means you can only speak the truth?  Even the nineteenth-century Romantic poets Tennyson and Keats were under the spell of the bluebell, believing it symbolised regret and solitude.  I say nonsense!  This bulb is a true symbol of the fantastic beauty of nature.

Again, you are spoilt for choice as to where to go and get your yearly bluebell fix.  My favourite, but keep it a secret, is Lanhydrock.  Do the same as with the snowdrop and get the mirror out for new perspective.  If you stare hard enough hopefully the intense blue will stay locked in your memory until next year.

Spectacular snowdrops

Is there anything more delightful than a snowdrop? Pushing their gently drooping heads out from the still frosty ground, how anything so delicate and beautiful can choose to appear in gardens at this time of year is anyone’s guess.  Yet year on year the steadfast snowdrop reappears and a visit to a National Trust garden is all the better for them.

Spring is a time not to be missed at National Trust gardens and countryside across the South West.

Snowdrops are expected to be at their best from early February and many National Trust properties, including Fyne Court, Kingston Lacey, Dunster Castle, Arlington Court, Trelissick, Killerton and Lanhydrock will be open allowing walks among the displays.

The garden team at Dunster Castle and gardens planted thousands of snowdrops and bluebells in readiness for spring, ably assisted by green fingered younger volunteers from Dunster First School.

Robin Andrews, Head Gardener at Dunster, said: “We’re expecting a spectacular display this year.

“There are quite a few types of snowdrop that many visitors can see here, including some that they may not be aware of: the common snowdrop, giant snowdrop and Crimean snowdrop.  We’ve planted a 1000 of each variety in the castle gardens as well as 6000 common snowdrops in the river gardens too.

The snowdrops at Fyne Court were believed to have been planted in the 1800s as part of the original Arcadian landscape designed. They were planted to represent light and contrasted in places with the dark, which in this case were laurel bushes with their shiny dark green leaves.

To check on snowdrop events across the South West, please visit